A landlord may ask you to fill out a lease application before considering you as a tenant. This helps to screen out tenants who don’t pay rent or pose other problems. They will ask for personal information, references, and proof of work. How well you complete the application determines whether the landlord will give you a lease. Here are some tips to help you with the process:
Have Basic Information Handy
Most landlords will ask for the following information as a part of your lease application:
- Driver’s license and/or state ID
- References: names, addresses, and telephone numbers
- Social security number and birth date
- Verification of employment: letter or pay stub
Getting everything on this list ahead of time will help you complete your application much faster. In some areas where it’s hard to rent, turning your application in right away will make a big difference in whether you become a tenant.
Your landlord wants tenants who will consistently pay rent on time. One tool they use to make sure you’re the right tenant is a credit report. They’ll run a credit check to see whether you’ve paid your bills late, or defaulted on loans. You should get a copy of your credit report before filling out your lease application to see what the landlord will see. You can still find a place to rent with a credit history that is below average. However, you must be prepared to answer questions regarding your credit status. The key is to be honest. Explain the circumstances, highlight the other ways in which you’ve been responsible in paying your debts, and get good references from your most recent landlords.
If you plan on having a roommate, they will need to fill out the lease application too. They too should be ready to address any issues that might come up in a credit check. The landlord may reject your application if there’s a problem with your roommate’s credit, lease, or employment history. Discussing the application in detail with your roommate before submitting it will better position you to get a lease. Therefore, schedule a time to fill out the application together.
Offer to Pay Rent in Advance
If your options for renting apartments are limited due to location or bad credit, consider offering to pay rent in advance. You can offer to pay the first 3 or more months rent upon signing the lease agreement. This will make your application stand out from the crowd, or it may ease concerns about your inability to pay rent. If they agree, be sure to get the upfront rent arrangement in writing.
Filling out a lease application can be simple if you’re prepared and if you have easy access to personal information. A landlord will consider you as a serious candidate if you treat the application process like a job interview. Keep your application free of errors and make it look neat. Be courteous with the receptionist and any other person you come in contact with.
Complete the Lease Application with Your Roommate
Prepare a Good Response for Negative Credit History